Iran looking to increase military cooperation with ‘like-minded’ China

Iran is looking to strengthen ties with China in hopes of countering the US, as discussions over a new Iran nuclear deal remain unfruitful.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi welcomed Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe, and the two men agreed on the strategic benefit of their alliance, Iranian state media reported according to The Associated Press. Wei said the purpose of the trip was “improving the strategic defense cooperation” between Iran and China.

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“Confronting unilateralism and creating stability and order is possible through cooperation of independent and like-minded powers,” Raisi reportedly said.

Wei agreed, stating that a stronger relationship between the two countries would be good for security, “particularly in the current critical and tense situation.”

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Iranian foreign minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtinai also met with Wei, who invited the Iranian official and others in the Iranian military to visit China.

“Wherever the US has had a military presence, it has created waves of insecurity, instability, rifts, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement,” Wei was quoted by Iranian media as saying.

The two countries have been developing their military relationship, as they signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement in 2021 that includes economic and agricultural activities as well as transportation. Iranian and Chinese navies have also visited each other’s ports and held joint drills in the Indian Ocean.

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